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What recession? Kunming H1 GDP grows 8.8%

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A combination of increasing industrialization, rapid growth in outside investment and being less integrated with the global economy than most cities of its size has enabled Kunming to escape the global economic downturn relatively unscathed.

According to the Kunming municipal statistics bureau, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) for the first half of 2009 totaled 77.02 billion yuan (US$11.27 billion), an increase of 8.8 percent on the first half of 2008, according to a Kunming Daily report.

The city's GDP growth exceeds that of China as a whole by 1.7 percentage points over the same six-month period.

Individual spending power is also growing in Kunming, with disposable income rising 19.1 percent year-on-year to reach 8,081 yuan (US$1,183).

Although Kunmingers' disposable income lags behind the disposable incomes in coastal cities, the prices of everyday goods and services in Kunming tend to be significantly lower than cities such as Shanghai or Shenzhen.

The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of the prices of a basket of consumer goods, increased only 0.5 percent over the first half of 2008. The CPI for the second quarter of this year dropped by 0.3 percentage points, primarily due to a drop in food prices.

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